Local news briefs

University of Manitoba senate meeting
The U of M senate will meet for the second time in 2014 on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Scheduled for that meeting are tributes to three recently deceased U of M faculty members: Jaroslav Rozumnyj (Arts), Reginald Litz, (Asper school of business), and David Singer (dentistry).
Also on the agenda is a recommendation from John Doering, faculty of graduate studies dean, that the U of M suspend admissions to the school’s PhD program in cancer control. According to a memo written by Doering, the program is rendered obsolete by the new PhD program in nursing.
“As the PhD program in nursing is up and running and has successfully taken in two cohorts of students, I believe it is time to suspend admission to the PhD program in cancer control,” wrote Doering.
According to the note, it had been understood when the doctoral program in nursing was introduced in 2011 that it would eventually replace the cancer control program, and that the latter would be discontinued.
The meeting will occur at 1:30 p.m. in the senate chambers (E3-262 Engineering Building) and is open to all members of the university community.

Faculty of education students host expo
Last week, education students had a chance to meet their potential employers when the faculty of education student council held an expo, drawing in representatives of school divisions in Winnipeg, rural Manitoba, Canada, and around the world.
“This is an excellent opportunity for our Teacher Candidates to see who is hiring and what they are looking for, but also to gain a better understanding of the unique needs and priorities of various school divisions and independent schools,” said faculty of education dean David Mandzuk in a U of M press release.
The expo, which ran for three days, featured one day of booths, which candidates could freely browse, and two days of arranged interviews between students and division reps.

Phoenix Sinclair inquiry: recommendations released
Last week, Ted Hughes, the commissioner overseeing the inquiry into the death of Phoenix Sinclair, issued his recommendations for how the Manitoba child welfare system can prevent similar cases from going unnoticed.
His recommendations came in the form of a massive, three-volume report, which also details the events leading up to the death of Sinclair on Fisher River First Nation, and the discovery of her body.
Among Hughes’ 62 recommendations is that caseworkers be responsible for no more than 20 cases at a time. Hughes also implored social workers to keep “complete and accurate records of all involvement with children and families,” and called for updates to the software used in case management.
Hughes also suggested that all caseworkers employed in Manitoba should be required to hold a university degree in social work.
“Child welfare workers do complex, demanding work that requires a high level of knowledge, skills, and analytical abilities,” he explained.
The provincial government has stated that it is prepared to act immediately on all of the recommendations of the inquiry.
The report was published on Jan. 31 and is available to the public online.

Man not guilty in foster son’s death
Manitoban Roderick Blacksmith has been found not guilty in the death of his 13-month-old foster son, who died from head injuries in 2008.
Judge Deborah McCawley ruled that insufficient evidence had been presented to prove that Blacksmith was in fact guilty of murder. The court heard testimony from a neuropathologist as well as RCMP officers involved in the investigation.
A babysitter had also been suspected in the case, but was never charged.